Inauguration brings new leaders into office

Among those sworn in during inauguration Thursday were Student Government Association President Phillip Agnew and Vice President Monique Gillum.

Agnew and Gillum were elected to the positions last spring after running unopposed, a feat which Gillum cites as a sign she and Agnew were perfect for the positions.

The ceremony began with the singing of the national anthem by Khare Hawkins, SGA secretary of state, and the singing of the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice” by Lydia Ali. The audience also joined in to sing the university’s alma mater.

Hawkins, 21, a senior business student from Orlando, was the coordinator for the event. “I worked real hard to get everything together, especially keeping the surprises from Monique and Phillip,” he said.

After being sworn in by Judge Martin L. Black, a graduate of Florida A&M University, Gillum addressed all those who had helped inspire her reach this point inher life, including her mother, Agnew and her brother, Leon County Senior Commissioner Andrew Gillum.

She referred to a saying she was once told. “You should give people their roses while there are still here.”

She then gave each person one to show her gratitude.

Before being honored by members of SGA in a piece titled “From the Black Woman to the Black Woman,” Gillum, a 20-year-old junior political science student from Gainesville, reassured points addressed in her platform and read a verse from the Bible. She ended by saying, “it is the students of this great university that make it what it is.”

Agnew was honored and surprised by the performance from his younger brother. “I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m glad to see he made it,” he said.

Black then swore in Agnew, 21, who was then given the duty of swearing in the student government executive board members, as well as 36th Student Senate President Ebony Manchion, Senate Pro-Tempore Mellori Lumkin and Chief Justice Kendra Rich.

In her address Rich, a fifth-year business administration student, displayed her appreciation for Agnew and Gillum. “Monique and Phillip are so very humble and I admire that about them. We’ve spent the summer working hard so I know that they will lead us into great things.”

Agnew, a senior business administration student from Chicago, went on to cover the issues of the student body by emphasizing the mission his administration has established, “making tangible student services we all can see.” He added, “saving money to bring more and better services” to the university, is another main focus of their administration.

Ms. FAMU 2006-2007, Stephanie Evans, a 22-year-old senior elementary education student from Fort Lauderdale, was among those in attendance.

She described the night’s occasion as “not only a night of inducting but also a night of honoring,” as she went on to introduce the royal court.

The night also featured performances by the Marching 100 and the FAMU Gospel Choir – each performance receiving a standing ovation.

Other highlighted performance came from the FAMU Connection, who performed a rendition of McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” and the praise dance group Tabernacle.

“The night went very well. All the surprises and performances went off without a hitch,” Hawkins concluded.